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to wonder why it seems people get increasingly negative about breastfeeding the older baby gets....

(456 Posts)
DiplodocusDinosaur Fri 14-Mar-14 15:34:20

My ds2 is 9 mths, admittedly he is a very big baby and often mistaken for 1yr to 18mths. I bf on demand and have always happily, discreetly fed in public. Whereas when he was little I.e. under 6 mths I only ever got really positive comments and vibes for bf in public, now he is getting older I'm increasingly noticing negative looks and had the odd comment more than once. Today I took my ds1 and ds2 to a childrens farm, ds2 wanted a feed so I went to feed him and heard two mothers giggling and saying 'bitty, bitty'. And a week or so back another lady stopped in the country park I was in and told me ds2 was far to old for breast milk and it was fine for little babies to be bf in public but my baby was old enough to learn to wait.
Have i just had a couple of bad run ins or have others noticed bf reactions change as babies get older?

HellomynameisIcklePickle Fri 14-Mar-14 16:16:03

Argh! That sounds awful. I wonder if it is a run of bad luck although I have definitely noticed an increase in people asking when I am "stopping" feeding after he hit 6 months.

It's crazy how people can be so judgemental over something that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with them, it can't even be out of concern for the baby - extended breastfeeding doesn't cause any physical or emotional harm does it. Tut tut.

Yanbu OP.

phantomnamechanger Fri 14-Mar-14 16:22:09

people are idiots and boobs are seen as sex toys for men, that's the problem. Some people CANNOT accept that BFing a child, for as long as both parent and child are happy, is NOT in any way shape or form kinky or pleasurable in a sexual way. Anyone who has sexual feelings on seeing a woman discretely BFing is plain weird.

I fed DD1 till about 17mo and only stopped when pg with DD2 and suffering terrible morning sickness. I BF DD2 for 18months and DS1 for 2.5 years. If someone else does not want to try it or only feeds for 6 weeks it's none of my business.

IWillOnlyEatBeans Fri 14-Mar-14 16:23:35

I feed my (massive) 14 month old in public all the time and have never experienced any negative comments. If I did I would have no qualms about telling them to mind their own business. What on earth has it got to do with anyone else?!

almondcake Fri 14-Mar-14 16:29:23

I fed my 'baby' until they were over two. I did have people ask how long I was intending to carry on for, but I didn't perceive the way they asked as negative. I think that depends on the tone people use and what their intentions seem to be.

Sorry you've had negative responses. I don't know why some people feed the need to make such comments.

Jinsei Fri 14-Mar-14 16:56:27

You aren't imagining it. I fed dd till she was nearly three, and I got to the stage where I just wouldn't feed her in public any more. People are very judgemental after around a year or so. DD was physically very tiny but very advanced with her language, so again, perhaps people thought she was older. But why that should make any difference, I really don't know. I wish I had been confident enough to ignore the hmm looks, but I wasn't, and so I just stopped telling people that I was still breastfeeding. sad

hiddenhome Fri 14-Mar-14 18:07:52

Society has an expectation that mothers should get back to being sex objects after a few weeks sad

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 14-Mar-14 18:10:06

I think people don't see older children as needing breastmilk - they have teeth so can eat proper food, which might be why they can look judgy or just be flat out rude.

BellaOfTheBalls Fri 14-Mar-14 18:12:25

YANBU. DS2 self-weaned very recently at 2.5 and I stopped BF in public when he was a little over 1 as the raised eyebrows got too much. I had a friend who constantly asked me how it was going and she wouldn't say "how's the breastfeeding going" she would whisper breastfeeding and sort of tap her chest. It's breastfeeding, not a crack addiction!

sadsaddersaddest Fri 14-Mar-14 18:15:05

I breastfed DC1 and DC2 for about 3 years. 17mo DC3 is still breastfed. In France. Of the people who comment, most are astonished because they assume that the milk dries down after 6 months. But some people are really nasty and say that I BF because it gives me sexual pleasure (the word incest was even mentioned once) or because I cannot "let go" of my babies.

DiplodocusDinosaur Fri 14-Mar-14 18:33:58

It is ridiculous. I plan on bf till ds2 self weans, but I am starting to feel uncomfortable in public, however ds1 is a very energetic 3 yr old who I take out and about most days so I think I have to just get on with it.
safsadders that really is awful, for some reason I always assumed the continent was more open to bf in public on the whole.

seeminglyso Fri 14-Mar-14 18:39:52

I BF my toddler who is three and a half. When I feed him in front of people (he asks, I rarely refuse) I am met with shock and embarrassment more than anything else. I explain the concept of self weaning and that culturally around the world this is nothing particularly unusual. Western culture has sexualised women so much that as another poster says they expect us to return to sex objects quickly and lactation doesn't fall in with that. Also the culture around child rearing in general is built around capitalism which is individualistic and extended BF also does not fit in with that.

Stick them in a dark room on their own and let them cry themselves to sleep, that fits in nicely.

Waltonswatcher1 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:32:06

I bf my 2 year old anywhere , its something I am proud to be doing . I am part of a support group that encourages extended feeding .
I don't think my mum knows though - we are staying with her at Easter , she hates breast feeding and thinks its the work of the devil !

Wishfulmakeupping Fri 14-Mar-14 19:36:27

It's just so sad that this happens isn't it sad my dd is 13 months now but on the small side so I've not had too much negative reaction so far- it won't put me off if it does happen but u can see how it might make people feel too embarrassed (hopefully not though)

Finney2 Fri 14-Mar-14 19:36:51

Diplodocus can I ask a genuine question about logistics? I fed my eldest until he self weaned at just over 3 but from about 20 months there was no way I could have fed him any way but with both of us lying down. He was just too big and heavy for anything else. How do you manage?

yellowsnownoteatwillyou Fri 14-Mar-14 19:38:23

It's not just breastfed babies that get comments, I got "is he not a bit old for a bottle?" He was 6 months! Looks older as he has lots of hair and is pretty tall, but still.
I had to give up breastfeeding earlier than I wanted, thou I dread to think how I would have fed my apparently giant baby in public now at 8 months.
Growing thick skin in preparation if I can go longer with dc2.

Helltotheno Fri 14-Mar-14 19:38:56

Stick them in a dark room on their own and let them cry themselves to sleep, that fits in nicely.

So what are you saying then? That there's no middle ground between the two scenarios you describe in each of your paragraphs above? Generalise much?

OP YANBU to BF your kid until he or she is 18 if that's what you want. In all honesty, I personally wouldn't bat an eyelid.

YABU to be so bothered though, because caring overly what people think really is a lot of extra unnecessary effort.

DiplodocusDinosaur Fri 14-Mar-14 19:40:29

Ds2 is 32lbs now and very long. He just sort of lays across my lap and I prop up his head and shoulders in my arms.

FirstStopCafe Fri 14-Mar-14 19:43:38

YANBU. I sadly try not to bf my 1 year old ds in public anymore. I felt fine and comfortable doing it up until he was about 8 months but then started getting so many comments from people who just presumed I would have stopped breastfeeding by then that I now feel too self-conscious. It's sad and I'm pretty ashamed of myself that I'm chickening out.

tobytoes Fri 14-Mar-14 19:45:32

My sister asked me recently if I was still feeding my 19 month old. She was at my house and we were the only two people in the house and she still felt the need to whisper the question

Starballbunny Fri 14-Mar-14 19:52:11

I BF DD2 in public until 18 months and in private for many years after that.

I never got a single comment, she just got very awkward to feed except on a sofa or in bed because she liked to lie straight.

Partly I live in NCT central, so BFing a toddler is far from unique, although you don't often see it, partly she was most often fed while DD1 was swimming which is pretty much all mums stopping toddlers rioting and partly, I think I just give off an air of ODFOD I don't care what you think.

MoreSkyThanWeNeed Fri 14-Mar-14 19:52:26

It's so sad that people experience any negative reactions when feeding their babies, regardless of how.
Like OP, I'm bfing a big baby and hope to continue as long as we both want to, but I have noticed people looking more than when he was tiny.
Also certain family members have expressed how much they are looking forward to us stopping bfing as it means the baby won't be so tied to me.
A lot of people expect mothers to get back to exactly how they were before - sexual and baby free. Not possible for me and my Velcro baby!
Keep your chin up OP, hopefully you won't encounter too many more arseholes, and if you do, ignore!

sadsaddersaddest Fri 14-Mar-14 19:58:20

The BF rates in France are awful. Most doctors and midwives don't know anything about breastfeeding and give terrible advice.
I very rarely get comments when I am BF outside, apart from the occasional creep or crazy old lady. Sadly, most negative comments are from friends and family sad

eastdulwichbedwetter Fri 14-Mar-14 20:02:46

It's a psychological phenomenon called confirmation bias. You are noticing because you are expection. Your response is part of the problem.

For my part, not one person has given a shit i 've fed two children for 6 years...

eastdulwichbedwetter Fri 14-Mar-14 20:05:34

Oh , and the repugnance is nothing to do with sexuality - that is a red herring

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